Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hunt for the Best Burger in Charlotte

When I move to a new area, it is important for me to explore and find my go-to places for emergency cravings. For example, it wasn’t a coincidence my apartment in college was centrally located between the best BBQ in Knoxville and the best enchilada & margarita deals in town. However, moving to a new state proposes challenges to settling into a foreign community. I live in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina and had never visited prior to apartment hunting and moving. Charlotte is a bigger city than I grew up, and is full of new opportunities for culinary enjoyment. 

Because of this, I’m not surprised it’s taking me longer than ever before to find my favorite joints. Working and going to school full-time doesn’t help the equation, but I like to juggle like everyone else. I’ve come to accept finding my favorites will be a work in progress. 

So cheers to the hunt for the best burger in Charlotte!

The first contender is at Bad Daddy’s. Has a tough name, but is nestled in the quaint and historic neighborhood of Dilworth. The interior décor is a bit masculine and nostalgic, including Eric Clapton guitars and metal Coca-Cola antique signs I’m sure my father would drool over. At least until they brought out his food.

Customers have a choice of traditional fries, sweet potato fries or tater tots. A popular appetizer is the fried pickles, which are particularly interesting. So of course, I had to get them too, since everyone else is always munching on them each visit I have to Bad Daddy's. They are not chips or spears, but a concoction of both. Personally, I have to dip my fried pickles in a ranch dip or the like. Because of this tendency of mine, I did not enjoy Bad Daddy's fried pickles due to their odd shape. They were difficult to dip. Maybe I should start a hunt for the best fried pickles in Charlotte...

Okay, now about the burgers. My burger here is the Frenchie.  My favorite feature of this delight is the brie.  It melts between the crispy bacon and the burger to heighten this ooey-gooey burger experience. Complete with sliced granny smith apples and garlic mayo, this burger has won my heart. And no doubt, my taste buds. 

Here’s the unexpected catch that even shocked me: this is a turkey burger. I’m typically one to go all in unhealthy when treating myself to a burger, but I order this every time I’m at Bad Daddy’s. I have to confess, though, the first time I went I was on a double date and had been chatting too much to really read the menu. When the server approached the table, I skimmed the burger section, saw brie in a description, and ordered that burger not knowing what else this burger had in store for me. Honestly, it can only be explained by destiny.

I make up for my healthier burger choice at the end of the meal and order a handspun chocolate milkshake. Yumm…

Another prospect best burger is at Jackeloup Jack’s. Located in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte, this funky bar has an exceptional outdoor dining area, complete with a large TV for you sports fans. My puppy likes to tag along with me here, and the server always brings her a bowl of water before I even ask. That makes an impression to any parent of a furry four-legged family member. 

The interior décor reminds me of a college town bar, with arcade games that dudes seem to be attracted to like bugs to a street light on a summer night. I can’t blame them; there is an electric beer pong game that is pretty neat. It’s a popular place in Elizabeth to grab a drink, but I like to go for the food. 

My burger of choice at Jack’s is the Cali Cali burger. It has roasted red peppers, goat cheese, guacamole and red onions all on top of a beef burger. Depending on my mood, sometimes I take the red onions off--something about raw onions doesn't always sit well with me. This burger is delicious with or without the onions, I assure you. I love the rich and creamy texture of each bite, filled with the fresh flavors that take you to California, by design.
I have told many friends in Charlotte about my search for the best burger, and have plans to stop by other joints to continue my search for the best burger...

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